1964-06-08 - Darker Shade of Pale
Summary: Lucifer Morningstar has no patience for those social conventions that serve no value.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lucian rosemarie 

Running for one's life puts a new light on things from time to time. When the adrenaline fades, the blues sometimes kick in and Rosemarie has had her knees taken out from beneath her. With none of her usual poise or tentative carriage, she makes her way down the stairwell to the main floor of Lux and immediately over to the bar. Such joy, it's payday, and she has more than enough to attempt to forget it all in the sweet spice of her favored rum.

In dark brown work slacks and a low-slung, cowl-back shirt, there are signs that she was in a scuffle. Wrinkles found at her upper sleeves, her hair disheveled and wisping from its half-back ponytail, dark smudges of grime at elbows on the fabric, and blades of grass clinging to the bottoms of her flats.

To the favored stool, at the bar, and it's there she fully slumps. We're talking folded arms on the pristine top and face buried in it. Her back rises and falls in a huge sigh.

Lux swelters in the scent of a garden distilled down into a drink, the punch bowls on the granite and marble bar beckoning to all sorts. Those with a lightweight temperament for alcohol don't stand a chance. No matter which they choose, a cup or two of potent elixirs infused by herbal liqueurs and strange blends can knock most on their backsides. The mood is gay and mellow, like a late 1890s Paris, but instead of the bistro tables the diners sit in the booths. Those who stand at least are largely lounging. They speak in soft voices and ignore the whirl of greater cares. No one wants the intrusion of unwelcome news.

Dark lips to his ear, Lucian inclines his head to properly hear a report from Mazikeen. Wherever Maz has been doesn't matter so much, considering her iron-hard presence here now. She speaks in slow words, toeing the line of being almost too close to him. Encroaching on personal space is an offense he tolerates, paying attention only a hint. The kiss of liquor from the tumbler he holds is a periodic interruption. Something causes him to cite a grievance in the atmosphere and he lifts his head.

Maz won't apologise for swearing. "What now?"

"Answer those accusations later," he mutters, pushing his glass into her hands. Maz frowns and would roll her eyes, except it never helps. He forges a different path, wandering out from the confines of that space at the end, past all the bowls with their liquid elixirs. "I was unaware how dangerous libraries were commonly."

A familiar voice brings her above the surface of her doldrums. The face that emerges from the safety of her arms gets a quick swipe of hands; a rapid spate of blinking and clearing of throat helps establish a sense of normalcy as well.

"If only it w-were the l-library. The rum y-y-you first s-served me? The f-first time? Four — no, five shot of that, p-please."

No 'hi', no 'howdee-do', no 'how's it been' from Rosemarie, normally quietly polite. At least she threw in the 'please'. There's the inevitable faint blush beneath her freckles, but that just might be some splotchy coloring from repressed emotions.

Lucian crosses his arms and leans against the bar, his shadow a bar over the woman in her disarray. A casual glance affirms the knowledge of her general state, attire measured, expression and tears and dirt all contained within an unfinished sweep of a look. He gestures, and the strawberry blonde bartender comes by. He doesn't need to say more than "Warm towel" and she hastens to fulfill the request, wringing out a fresh hand towel in hot water, and folding that into a rectangle for delivery.

He offers that to Rosemarie. And to the request for rum, a five shot no less, the answer is flat and simple: "No."

…wait, was she just denied? The towel, having been taken, pauses in its travels alongside one of her cheeks. It lingers there long enough for her skin to shout alarm at the possibility of a conductive burn and instead, her hands wrapped within its confines make a soft thump of contact on the bartop.

"No…? I-I-I…" Well, hell…what else is there to do? The corners of her eyes begin to shimmer again and one tear escapes the confines even as she tucks her chin. "Why…not…?" It's a quiet, ragged, stubbornly forced-out question.

Wet towel, dry towel. It would be incorrect to take anyone by the chin and assess them freely, much less bind their wounds. The gift for that level of molecular manipulation is, unfortunately, denied him right now, anyways. Lucian has stronger opinions, regardless.

"Because two shots leaves you barely capable of walking. Five would probably poison you and, in that state, bring the police down because someone clearly did not have your interests at heart. Why have you not sought out medical attention?"

"What he means is what did you do to yourself?" Maz snaps in passing, shoving one of the bowls out of the way. "The copper room wants the whole thing. I'll have one of them mixed up later."

Well…he's not wrong, even if it feels like life slapping her on the knuckles again. The usual flinch follows Mazikeen's clarification. Rosemarie remains curled in upon herself for about a minute longer, risking the chance of someone think she's not going to reply, but then the towel does it work again at banishing the trails of misery.

"I l-l-lost my t-temper b-because someone…a friend," she forcibly corrects herself, perhaps a reminder to her psyche that kindness wins out over all; " — d-doesn't understand th-that…that I am normal. I am me an-an-an-and — " Crap, her throat closes off for a second. Another surprisingly rough cough enables her to forge onwards. "The f-f-feathers. The wings, in public, and p-p-p-people reacted. We had to escape a-and…" The throwing-up of her hands includes her personal state of mostly-removed grime and disheveled clothing. "F-Frankly, I am t-t-tired and d-done with t-today in g-g-general and I can't even get a drink." Spit out with a vicious twist to her lips, the mobile rosied mouth then gets back to trembling as shame follows quickly on the heels of another blip of temper.

Lucian, the bartender, has no doubt heard the woes of many a soul. Not those only pleading before his throne or praying for release from a lifetime of sins marked on the very fibre of their being. So many things heard, so many prayers and pleas and screams raised into the air, and none are quite so pathetic as the others. None are more or less important.

"Perhaps something warm rather than cold," he suggests, not interrupting her narrative. Chamomile tea may be mild but it's good for the soul, even if alcohol would be better. Easy enough to have that run up. "No. And before you throw back at me anything about state law, there is the rightness of the decision. You would not find alcohol any better to deaden your pain. It will find you in the morning."

He could ask about feathers and witnessing people, and the consequence of reducing oneself to the microscope of public scrutiny. Thoughts come and go, Her anger he weathers, her upset he endures with an unblinking focus.

The towel is utilized for one last swipe across her eyes and then it finds a home atop the bartop, its temperature now cooler than her skin. Indeed, warm might be better than cold — likely critically so. She's finding herself cold and the shivers have begun, a sign that the Otherness drew on critical natural stores of energy within her body to enable her escape.

"…alright." The consonant on the end is hit hard, nearly percussive. "S-Something w-w-warm, p-please." Rosemarie hasn't recovered the spine to sit upright, but hey, the resting of her chin on her hand could be construed as progress.

|ROLL| Rosemarie +rolls 1d10 for: 5

|ROLL| Rosemarie +rolls 1d10 for: 5

|ROLL| Rosemarie +rolls 1d10 for: 8

|ROLL| Lucian +rolls 1d10000000 for: #-1 ARGUMENT OUT OF RANGE

|ROLL| Rosemarie +rolls 1dbutalcoholclearlysolvesallproblems for: #-1 INVALID ARGUMENT

The cool towel won't be folded away and enshrined in glass, or anything similarly foolish. Lucian has the cup of tea delivered thanks to the witty, wise hands of the strawberry blonde, who hands over the mug and makes herself scarce at the other side of the bar. No reason she cannot stitch back and forth, avoiding the conversation. "Drink this, then. No milk or sugar, straight. The restorative properties are good."

Given he's the living incarnation of holy fire, he has absolutely no issue with being cold or hot or any temperature at all. Benefits to being made of pure energy.

That all said, he thumbs through a basket behind the bar and comes up with… a foil wrapped container of chocolates. Honestly. Chocolate bonbon time. With a bit of tugging and removing the wrapper, he tosses a bonbon back and offers her one.

The steaming cuppa is given a disbelieving, mildly-resentful glare, but she does shift her weight in order to gather it up in trembling hands. Immediately, her body gets to drinking in the heat emitted by the demi-tasse. It feels as if velvet gloves of warmth are slowly unrolling up her arms and the fine hairs on her body dance in delight.

The crinkling of foil is enough to draw her attention from the lightly-golden surface of the tea and she glances up in time to see the chocolates offered out to her. "Oh," is the breath of honest surprise — and her heart does this funny flipflop in her chest. "Thank y-you." She plucks one of the bonbons and bites into it after a moment's hesitation.

Mmm, chocolate. This is good chocolate, not some American excuse for a confectionary sweet.

"Lucian…" Making sure her lips are clean before she continues involves a little flick of her tongue; nervous fidget too. "I…am…" The bonbon held carefully between her fingers seems forgotten in the moment. "Am… Is it wrong to… N-No, is it selfish to…want for myself?" Little lamb raises those cinnamon-brown eyes to him. "To…want to not be…alone right now?"

A good chocolate, too, one of Belgian extraction and milky enough to melt, but dark enough to impart a certain bittersweet kiss. Nothing quite so powerful or potent as chocolate to alleviate the cares of the world, which is in part why it tastes so good and stuffing one's face with it may be a bliss tinged in regret, but not the other way around. Besides, it's only like there are four of those bonbons in a row on a background of gold foil and torn royal blue.

"There," says Lucian, the provider of such temptations that would not even score as complex enough for a dessert on Lux's menu. And he hardly cares that should be the case. The mug contains enough hot water for the bag to steep in, a floating tab over the edge giving an excellent indication of the provenance for the tea. Let her figure out how fast to consume it and how well the flavour suits her. Chamomile is mild. Next to chocolate on the tongue, perhaps insufficient, like a roll in the flowers after cake.

He taps his finger against the bar, eyeing Rosemarie with unequivocal calm. Fifteen billion years will do that to a seraphim. It's hard to rile him up impossibly so, especially living out of time. Eternity is his hallmark, left on the tempestuous ravage of his brows when she stutters through her questions. There are days, truly…

"No more than needing time alone to recover after an assault. Your reactions are entirely normal." Let that be comfort of a kind. "So is the desire to forget it all in a wash of alcohol. The latter is less effective."

Eating the rest of the bonbon gives her the safety of impacted silence. She mulls over his response. …she guesses so, when it comes to the weighing of personal interests and the implacable wisdom this barkeep hands out with no more dramaticism than a guru of the high mountains.

The chamomile is bland in way against the depths of the chocolate, but gently and soothing so. It's a bit like a warm blanket wrapped about her shoulders and she can feel a tremor in her stomach, trapped butterflies, begin to fade away with the next sip of tea.

"G-G-Good to know," she finally mutters, still wondering to herself why this doesn't settle another impulsive set of wings fluttering about her psyche. The reach for another bonbon is aborted momentarily, the query unspoken as she looks to him for permission for another, fingertips hovering over the cocoa gems nestled in foil.

Two down, two to go. It's not as though he holds them out of Rosemarie's reach, swinging them from side to side to coerce her into snatching something up. He's not quite that sort of man in his element here.

He is not a source of implacable wisdom; his is the knowledge that simply is. The answer to a question manifest when asked, thinking of it. He does not possess the means to answer everything, but he can tender more than a drink. "Why did they attack you? You would not show yourself without a risk."

Ah, indeed. The impetus for a flaring flash of temper that ended in azurine plumage and the general public wondering of angels for all of a few lucky minutes. Rosemarie has taken another bonbon now and this one too appears momentarily forgotten as she swallows hard.

"A m-misunderstanding." There's a broad sweep of wistfulness in the word chosen, as if she sorely wishes this to be the case in the long run. The bonbon is set down atop the counter, heedless of its notion to be everything sparkly-clean. "I…" Hmm. Okay, this is Lucian, barkeep and accepting of all confessions. "I have n-n-no p-preference between m-men and women. S-Someone made this out t-to b-b-be less than…n-n-n-normal." The tea provides a bulwark after the young woman tucks chin again, so very ready for the world to turn on her. "…andIlostmytemper." All a run of rough words from behind the lip of her cup.

"A misunderstanding." The tracery of mockery etches out the word in acid. "How very considerate. Rather than calling it a slip of judgment when one person forces themselves on another, versus a violation of the highest and deepest kind." Just a little distinguishing factor there, as he puts his hands to the marble bartop and carelessly vaults over it. Not a single drink is spilled, nor a person kicked in the process.

"In a more balanced word, you could walk around as you liked and not suffer consequences for looking, acting, or being perceived as different. Mind you that could be an imaginary time," he remarks, swiping her towel and tossing it into a discreet chute that goes down, presumably, to laundering facilities. Or possibly the Hudson or the vats of Hell to be incinerated by work imps. "But we have barely managed to presume woman is /human/, as opposed to a walking uterus or chattel, so the advancements are a disappointing indictment of human progress."

Another look at Rosemarie gives no real ease of reading an expression too mercurial to remain in one place. "And tell me, how did this news shock some poor soul? Was it a scathing rejection of an offer, or somehow inconceivable someone might find their own sex as enjoyable as the other?" Scorn goes on the fire. "How narrow minded of them, considering as with all things, the differences are far fewer than the similarities."

She's rather caught up in the fact that he cleared the bar itself to snag the towel and thus, her response is a bit delayed. Such athleticism. Much appreciation from Otherness. Peep-peep! The blush returns to her cheeks strongly and Rosemarie's quick to snatch up the bonbon she set down earlier, if only to keep it too from disappearing — as if it would, but people do silly things in times of duress and strings of comfort are things she clings to right now fervently.

"M-M-More the latter," she replies quietly. "H — They w-w-were c-concerned about s-someone else f-first. I…defended and p-put myself on the l-line. Stupid," she mumbles before nibbling on the bonbon again. "I j-j-just…" A heavy sigh, slumped shoulders. "Want to be accepted for m-myself. Nobody understands." Assuredly someone does, somewhere out there, to some extent, but the woe is strong with this one.

|ROLL| Lucian +rolls 1d100 for: 93

Peep it up baby. Oh yeah. Peep to your heart's content, imagine what that white shirt looks like off.

He half expects her to have chocolate smeared all over her mouth and cheeks and chin, insisting with a full mouth and chipmunk cheeks, "I ninn't eash isht" with full force of shame in tow. Rosemarie clutching a chocolate, priceless weak and mirthlessly /sad/. That humanity hides behind chocolate, that she must.

"Stop mincing words, Miss Falcroft," Lucifer Morningstar states in all the silken hue of his damnable voice. He practically purrs at her, the restraint of low volume needed not to alert the other diners. "He was concerned about someone else fancying you, or was he confounded that you might want to snog a girl he was after himself? This is not especially clear. If you want to be accepted, stop speaking in vague terms as though you are ashamed of what you are. You know full well you cannot possibly shock me. "

Rosemarie draws up with all the streamlined surprise of the shorebird whose name she borrows as anonymous title at Lux. Ohhhhhhhhhh….it is so very unfair that his voice be like that. Fleeting memories of wings limned in hyper-focused light against shadow don't help the prickling that dances along her skin. The cup remains held near to her chest, the bonbon's fate paused in her mouth as her tongue cleaves to its roof. Hey, at least it tastes like chocolate, said cleaving.

Extracting it takes a tacky moment and she swallows hard, most of the chocolate going down in a manner to make her grimace. Odd lumps war with the natural stretch going down, but it does make its way safely without triggering any choking.

"He was concerned ab-b-bout someone else fancying not me who loves m-men. I disliked the j-judgment." A mouthful of lightly-herbal tea helps remove some of the candy glazing behind her teeth. "I know I c-c-couldn't shock you…" she mutters, a sudden rueful tartness raising its head. "I'm b-boring."

"You are timid in an era when running to hide under a bush is not a luxury any of you have. There will always be those who are afraid and uneasy, especially when shown they are anything but ordinary." Examining her from the bar, Lucian's eyes thin and the glittering maelstrom turning over through shades of a thousand midnight skies pointedly mark her face, her hair. "You — your people — were created in the likeness of the Creator of the universe itself, so that book says. Man and woman, shaped to be like none other than the almighty Lord. On that basis alone, how could you diminish yourself? Is it not enough that you are some fifty or seventy generations removed from the omnipotent force of being? How any of you could possibly fail to look upon yourselves in wonder and then stride out into the world to dominate it beggars belief. Oh, yes, some fool of a man not much older than you or perhaps less is an authority on these matters, is he? He knows the will and the scope of the grand design of all things? Has he proven himself such a saint to declare that a man who prefers men or a woman who makes love to women is somehow foul and profound?"

He has the choice of many vices, and the preference of the moment is going to be the glass. He puts it down and pours something from a bottle brought to hand, the splash almost lemony, but too bitter to be sweet. "Yes, believe this paragon of hallowed wisdom rather than your own heart. For what means his opinion makes yours invalid? I doubt there is any reason except your own doubts and fears, instilled by a petty and narrow minded society that spooks at people with more melanin pigment in their skin."

Impressed? Nary a jot of being that, insidious contempt for another's thoughts matched up to the measure taken and done. "Of course you dislike the judgment, because in the vast, radiant span of history, no one gave a shit about that."

Well…ouch. Truth hurts sometimes. It's kind of like ripping off a Bandaid…and removing some feathers in the process. Rosemarie watches those bright eyes, how they shift in time with the swing of his thoughts, go from the quiet of 3am's velvety deep-blue to the eventide of summer to the dancing auroral winters that still all but the curtains of light in the heights of space. It's mesmerizing, to be frank, and surely she can't be blamed for being completely caught up in it. At some distance, nails are driven home, and finally, one rouses her pride from its mopey corner.

"I d-don't believe a d-damn word he said, n-no, it's the basis of the thing!" Is she agreeing? Maybe? Even she's not sure. "It's unkind and unfair and I p-put myself on the l-line for something and it b-bit me in my pert, little b-butt!" Her voice isn't too loud. …maybe.

"Why do you expect it to be fair? Every last one of those people out there fights their own battle, and suffers their own limitations. Accept, Miss Falcroft, there are a large number of men and women incapable of acknowledging or accepting your preferences. Their negative responses should not hinder you from being yourself," Lucian replies, possibly more than a little pitiless. Probably not cruel to her, at least since she's showing some spine. Well, better to mine that and force it to the light of day. "Your moral and ethical centre tells you not to care about that? Good. Stand to that. Clutch hold of what you believe. Stop ducking your head and clamping your mouth shut or feeling the least bit guilty. Everyone is flawed and imperfect, everyone. Own what you believe and are, and fall short of the goal for some other reason. But bowing your head and curbing your tongue does nothing to make you happy, does it? So you've learned someone you are friendly with cannot see eye to eye with you, so? That's his limitation and not yours. Being apologetic for yourself is the worst kind of self-harming."

His fingers flex, and the cracks on the bottle are nothing to be concerned by, oh no. He raises his glass to his lips and takes a deep, long drink. "If he complains again, ride your lover in front of him and tell him you don't have any idea of what he's talking about."

She splutters. Rosemarie actually splutters. She needs must put the tea cup down atop the marble bartop to avoid splashing it about.

"Lucian!!!" It's a shocked, affronted near-expletive in his name. "I-I-I c-c-couldn't — y-y-you…!" Those cinnamon-brown eyes betray the first golden flushes of blood pressure hopped up. No risk of fully feathering, not here, not after such a drain, but apparently the Otherness likes the spine showing up. "F-Fine. Since w-we're being f-frank. Not v-vague. I have no lover and you have nice eyes and I'm n-n-not apologizing."


"You could not imagine /taking/? Then, fine, you might be the one underneath doing the work and let your partner speak for you on your behalf. Cat has your tongue," Lucifer amends his statement without a final jot of complaint. His expression remains lightly stormy, eyes radiant in the dim hues of a place named for light, for shining brilliance at the moment of creation. "Go find the narrow-minded man if you must. A continued association is presumably something you want, some hope of changing his deplorable opinion? Be what you are, unapologetic. Shoving his nose in that is unlikely required. One way or the other, who cares?"

The drink is downed in a gulp, one hardly audible or cause for a breath.

"Naturally I have fine eyes, and why would you apologise? I'm the finest creation in existence." He could be a little more brutal about it, if not entirely incapable of speaking falsehoods.

"Truth is never a weakness. Nor is knowing who you are, what you are. Only those who are afraid of themselves hide from it, and they shirk the responsibility of being themselves." His shoulders lift and fall. "The greatest sin of all."

The blush is high on her cheeks, now also in her ears and down her throat.

"Oh, I would t-take."

And not taking that back either, narrowed golden eyes a candleglow to the natural brilliance found within his own celestial hues. "I'm not going to go find him. He's going to come to me." She can be rather stubborn at times. Having been firmly rebuffed as to personal inclinations helps in this. "And he's going to apologize because he knows, deep inside, that he's wrong."

Feathers ruffled now. "If he can't handle it, then he's no friend of mine." She's even leaning across the bar to accent her point, half-propped on hands holding to its edge — perhaps about one second from an accenting point of a finger in Lucian's direction, though she wouldn't dare to touch the fine weave of that white button-down. …not without permission, anyways.

"And that, plucky little bird, is why you make a terrible chicken or a poor sandpiper." Lucian crosses his arms over his chest and reclines slightly. His back arches and no doubt the molecule-wide wings arch, curving out to stretch around the glove or something equivalent. His foot taps against the wall. "Consider it an improvement. But never doubt your backbone on what you know."

Would that her leash upon her own atavistic mutagenics were looser. The Otherness crescendos through her blood with the bubbles of champagne and the crisp ghosting of freefall to tip her stomach in a phantom nudge. However, who knows what mundane guests currently attend? Lucian…and Mazikeen, both, have seen the plumage in azurine. Keeping the Shi'ar battle-blood to herself seems wisdom in the moment in that this is no side hallway.

Realizing that she might as well be intruding into his personal space, she retreats back to her stool and settles in again. The scar on her lip is nibbled upon, but only in passing. It's back to the tea instead. After all, it's getting cool and she's not about to leave it unfinished.

She sips at it and there's the impression of ruffled feathers slowly settling. "…thank you, Lucian. For…the t-tea. And n-not letting m-m-me drink." The half-smile is self-recriminating. "It…s-sounded like a g-good idea at the t-time, but…you w-were right. It w-would have h-hurt more in the f-f-future."

If these walls could talk… they'd probably tell the Shi'ar to hush its face. No need to chicken out.

"What sounds like an idea is infrequently one. You clearly have a great deal to learn about the city and life, and more. A good number of things hurt more in retrospect. A number don't. You live for now and the future, not the past and the wounds done." Like he's a master of. "Get your coat on. You have no concept of how to spend the next few hours, I gather and in… in that getup, you are bound to find yourself at home eaten soup from a box and watching old reruns of terrible shows with a plot arc visible as brightly as the moon and about as exciting and shocking as a raccoon in a trash can." There is no question of his agility as he's over the bar again, sooner than done.

Another vault over the bar and more subconscious peeping and he has to be doing this to tease the Shi'ar mutagenics because there's some shifting on her seat like it's a bit too hot. Rosemarie frowns, setting down the mostly-finished cup of tea atop the bar and then slowly reaching for her coat, as if she didn't quite hear him right but wants to assuage the possibility of what she heard.

"…I wasn't g-going to d-d-do soup, b-but the shows, y-yes." The light bolero is gathering up and she swivels on the stool to face Lucian. "A-Are y-y-you — are w-we…going somewhere?" Oops, there are those butterflies again, doing all manner of tickling things to her stomach.

Bucky has arrived.

Bucky has left.

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